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Fresh powder a welcome Memorial Day surprise for skiers

By Mike Anderson and Jennifer Stagg | Posted - May 30, 2011 at 9:30 p.m.


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SALT LAKE COUNTY — Instead of shorts and flip-flops, many Utahns were sporting winter coats and rain boots on this Memorial Day.

But not everyone was unhappy with the unseasonably cold weather.

Snow in the mountains

Snowbird got some big crowds Memorial Day and some very unusual late-ski season conditions that many say were more like what they would have expected a couple of months ago.

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“I’ve never been on Memorial Day before,” said skier Annelise Luddington. “Very memorable.”

"We woke up this morning and had snow at our house, and decided we gotta ski today,” said skier Michelle Oelsener.

By late Monday afternoon, about 10 inches of new snow had fallen since Sunday. Some of the skiers said the powder was pretty deep, and because the weather was cold, the snow wasn’t slushy.

“I’m not so sure how this global warming thing’s working out around here,” snowboarder Brian Wood said. “I mean, this is pretty sweet. As far as I’m concerned, keep it coming.”

The folks at Snowbird say they're well on track to stay open through the Fourth of July.

"We have been having a record-breaking season,” Snowbird communication manager Emily Moench said. “We've almost broken the record for total snowfall by nearly 100 inches and it's still coming."

Rain in the valleys

All that snow in the canyons equals a lot of rain in the valleys. It was a rare, rainless moment when KSL News caught up with Kelly Hyvonen as he cut his grass Monday.

Michael Beverly and his son Elias also jumped at the chance to get some fresh air while riding their bicycles in between storms.

"We saw a little break in the clouds, so we thought we would get out," Michael said.

No, it wasn't the start to summer many expected. But the rain and snow didn't stop family get-togethers, a day at the park, or a tribute to a lost loved one.

Memorial Day may have had a few weather modifications this year, but it was memorable nonetheless.

By the way, the folks at Snowbird say the resort is set to stay open Fridays through Sundays through the Fourth of July, which would make it its longest season ever with more than 200 days of skiing.

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Written with contributions from Mike Anderson and Jennifer Stagg.

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Mike Anderson
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